Char­ity be­gins at home, dear Ace

The Citizen (KZN) - - Opinion -

It comes as no sur­prise that Cuba has scored more than R80 mil­lion of South African tax­pay­ers’ money for a use­less “tech­ni­cal ad­vi­sors pro­gramme” ar­ranged by for­mer Free State premier Ace Ma­gashule. That’s be­cause many of gov­ern­ment’s lead­ers – and Ma­gashule is the ANC’s sec­re­tary-gen­eral – ap­pear trapped in a mid-’70s so­cial­ist time warp, where the Soviet regime in Mos­cow and its sur­ro­gates (led by Cuba) were fight­ing to over­throw West­ern cap­i­tal­ism.

The ANC has rewrit­ten his­tory to cast the Cubans as some of the main “lib­er­a­tors” of south­ern Africa, ig­nor­ing the re­al­ity that Fidel Cas­tro’s troops in An­gola, par­tic­u­larly, were sup­ported by the Rus­sians in terms of equip­ment and by the An­golan MPLA gov­ern­ment, which paid for every Cuban sol­dier de­ployed.

The rev­enue from the for­eign mil­i­tary de­ploy­ments, along with Soviet bud­get sub­si­dies and East­ern Bloc pur­chases of Cuban sugar, were what kept Cuba liq­uid in the ’80s.

After the col­lapse of the Soviet Union, Ha­vana’s econ­omy also folded and Cas­tro and the oth­ers in his rul­ing junta had to look else­where.

And one of the places they looked was to their ANC com­rades in South Africa, in­sti­tut­ing all man­ner of schemes – rang­ing from the train­ing of med­i­cal doc­tors to the re­pair and main­te­nance of mil­i­tary equip­ment, to the “tech­ni­cal ad­vi­sory” scheme in the Free State.

All is, ap­par­ently, not forgotten in the in­ter­na­tional so­cial­ist rev­o­lu­tion busi­ness … and the Cubans are get­ting their pay­back.

Why should SA con­tinue to sup­port a regime which only be­came in­volved in south­ern Africa for money in the first place?

Why should SA send hun­dreds of mil­lions of rands abroad when that money could be bet­ter spent on per­son­nel and ser­vices in this coun­try?

We have news for the ANC: the Cold War is over. Our own cold re­al­i­ties mean char­ity must be­gin at home.

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